Dreketi Kindergarten Proposal for LSN
Our proposal for the development of a multi-purpose kindergarten and evacuation centre at Dreketi Settlement, Ra Province, Viti Levu, Fiji. This is an extension of our LiA project with Think Pacific in Summer 2023. We will be present at the Conversations 2023 Conference in both Toronto and Dublin.
This is an exciting long term project we are working on in collaboration with the Laidlaw Foundation and Laidlaw Schools Trust. We have already been in discussions with the Fijian Ministry of Education, and multiple education and build NGOs.
Please donate at our GoFundMe Page: https://www.gofundme.com/f/dreketi-evacuation-centre-kindergarten
We are a group of Laidlaw Scholars (Gabrielle Fullam, Bev Genockey, Will Banner, Isha Dinesh Sharma, Isabelle Rosher). We are working with Mereni Tudai, Unaisi Prout, Solomoni Namovi of Dreketi Settlement, and we need your help.
Dreketi Settlement, is a small community in North Viti Levu, home to about 110 families with 59 children under 5. The people we have met here are the kindest, most hospitable and loving people we have ever met. In Ireland we have a saying “céad míle fáilte” - 100,000 welcomes. But only in coming to Dreketi Settlement did we truly experience céad míle fáilte.
In 2016, Cyclone Winston, a category 5 cyclone obliterated the South Pacific, causing immense damage and claiming the lives of 44 people. Unfortunately, one of those 44 people lived in Dreketi, and was a 26 year old mother to two young children, one 2 years old and one 3 months old. The houses and buildings of Dreketi were obliterated and many were left injured. Of this incident, many villagers we spoke to echoed the sentiment that they were left with nothing but the clothes on their back.
Fiji is particularly vulnerable to the effects of global climate change, as rising sea levels, increased flooding and regular storm surges pose serious risk to the structure of the village and the lives of its people. Despite rebuilding efforts, many residents still have no access to evacuation centers or buildings that can serve as a place of refuge at times of disaster.
Beyond this, the many children of the settlement have little access to Early Childhood Education. Very few expensive buses are available to take children to the nearest kindergarten, and those that do attend must be left unsupervised for up to 4 hours as they wait for the return bus. These barriers to education leave many children without access to education.
We believe the people of Dreketi deserve a place to seek sanctuary in times of natural disaster and emergency. We also believe children deserve access to a fun and enriching environment to plan and learn.
This is why we are proposing a multi-purpose space, which can serve as an evacuation centre, and function as a kindergarten during mornings and community hall.
We have estimated the total cost of this project to be around 13,000 British Pounds (15,050 euro) The villagers have already fundraised some money and sourced some materials for roofing, as well as identified a location for the evacuation centre. We are aiming to assist them in completing this project.
Please give what you can to give the people of Dreketi what they deserve.